Festival Express Redux: a cross-Canada train trip exploring art, culture, media and business

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The Social Media Olympics by Evan LeesonHere in Vancouver, (maybe you’ve noticed) we live in the midst of social/web/tech companies which are creating truly unique and powerful (in a global scale) tools.

We are not only witnessing or tacitly observing, but instead co-creating and culturally-curating something unique. 

Van isn’t exclusive to this – across Canada are pockets in the throes of this social/new/digital media renaissance like we’re pre-wired for it.

Dare I say – our countryfolk tend to be nuanced communicators with an understanding of bringing people together in compelling, inclusive ways.  

Within these various enclaves exists the power to create world-changing art and technology, then bask in the resultant cultural-economic goodness. Indeed, sustainable, intelligence-based commercial models exist, and are eager to multiply.

The Next Station is…

So how to be spark this intellectual and cultural exchange? Hop aboard the Festival Express Redux – an interdisciplinary, cross-Canada train trip exploring the intersection of art, music, culture, media, business.


In the spirit of the 1970 music tour, The Festival Express, which brought Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band and more by rail to the fans from coast to coast – with hi-jinks, legends and mishaps along the way.

This train will be loaded-up with media makers, entrepreneurs, musicians, teachers, journalists, photographers and technologists, commonly aimed at barnstorming into cities and towns for hours to days - explore and exchange.

It’s a natural course for our kind – we're travelers and traders, diplomats and teachers. Folks hop on and folks jump off as we pick up thinkers, builders and leaders along the course and inspire the future.

Interdisciplinarianism FTW

CP Train in GastownIn each town, the riders will participate in both pre-arranged and spontaneous series of lectures, meet-ups, workshops and projects (see: Geeks on a Plane). Collaborators might include colleges, NPOs, service clubs, chambers of commerce, "Bar" campers, community groups – whoever raises a hand and says, “Let's brew something up.”

Topics could include media making, start-up life, creative commons, funding sources, inspiring creativity, photo walks, web tools, poetry and paint, and anything else which interests 2 people. 

Everything is on the record and documented in a firehose of mixed-media narrative and published in almost-real-time.

Collectively contextualized and shared and open to conversation like a new-school farmer’s almanac of best tips and timing – with an aim to stimulate cultural exchange and spark economic activities.Taking the Alberta Train to Whistler - John Biehler

The results (at minimum) with share the inspiring vital signs of Canada in general – and the communities specifically – as fertile ground in digital media business-sphere.

Who's on-board? I’ll raise my hand. Also, we'll need a train, wi-fi, beer and sandwiches.

Photo Credits:

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